Boomkat Product Review:
Melika Ngombe Kolongo aka Nkisi returns with a new LP steeped in the mysticism of the distant past; inspired by Derek Jarman's "Journey to Avebury", a 1971 short that considers the latent power of our prehistoric culture around the world’s largest megalithic stone circle in Wiltshire, southwest England. One of the most distinctive artists in contemporary, experimental dance music, Nkisi never fails to surprise, here drawing equally from classic doomcore, dark ambient and her Congolese heritage for an inimitable schism of spellbinding club sorcery.
'Ndombala' on the A side features 12 minutes of ritualistic myth-making, commissioned for ‘A Journey to Avebury’, a video by artist and filmmaker Stanley Schtinter, which is a shot-for-shot recreation of Derek Jarman’s incidental 1973 film of the same name. Originally a silent film, following Jarman’s death in 1994 Coil produced a score replete with birdsong and unsettling sounds which Nkisi actively references by shaping a mostly beatless sonic topography that swerves the hi-def methodology of post-Zimmer Netflix OST bores. It might be billed as a soundtrack, but Nkisi explores dizzying blasts of ancestral-industrial soundscaping that ride the uncanny, recalling passages of Ákos Rózmann as well as Senyawa’s future-primitive invocations, lurching deep into gaseous, mycological mists.
The B-side ‘Centripetal Vortex’ was produced as part of the same sessions, taking for inspiration parallels between pre-colonial statuettes used for rituals in central Africa and the same stone circles at Avebury featured in the film. The mode on this side, however, is more loose and rhythmic, feeding animist sounds into ancient Congolese drum patterns, Joyrex templates and contemporary doomcore replete with disorienting atmospheres and a relentless kinetic energy that eventually cascades into a hardstyle-inspired brick wall. It’s wildly exploratory, deadly material from one of the very best doing it right now.